My run abroad this year started with the Egyptian half marathon - "Pyramids Half Marathon", which took place in February in the capital of Egypt, Cairo. This running season turned out to be a very poor start abroad for me, and the running events I planned to attend were canceled and postponed for 21 years. Therefore, at the end of the running season, still decided to get to some interesting race abroad.
Since this year there was nothing to choose from, namely Bulgaria (3 marathons), Turkey (2 marathons), and Egypt (half marathon), so I decided to stop my choice on the Egyptian half marathon - "El Gouna Half Marathon". The half marathon "El Gouna Half Marathon" took place in mid-November on the Red Sea in the town of El Gouna, also known as the "Pearl of the Red Sea".
Registration for the half marathon "El Gouna Half Marathon" took place on the official website of the race elgounahalfmarathon.com, where participants had to register (fill in their contact details and choose the size of the T-shirt) and pay the entry fee (early registration - 700 EGP ($ 45), regular - 800 EGP ($ 52)).
The autumn trip to Egypt for the half marathon "El Gouna Half Marathon" was my first trip abroad after quarantine. If in the winter I flew to Cairo with a change in Istanbul, this time I decided to look for a direct flight from Kyiv to Hurghada. There were no major innovations in the flight and border crossing of Egypt during the pandemic.
But some innovations were still introduced, namely, the entire flight had to be in a mask, and the visa was canceled when crossing the border. In this case, the visa was replaced by a certificate with a negative PCR test result. The certificate could be made in Ukraine, but no later than 72 hours before arrival, and on arrival in Egypt, at the airport, where its price is $ 30. In addition, it is desirable to have insurance that covers treatment for COVID-19. The most up-to-date information on how to get to a country in 2020 can be found on the website visitukraine.today.
After passing passport control and receiving a stamp in my passport about crossing the border, I immediately went from Hurghada airport to my hotel, which was located in the town of El Gouna. The journey from Hurghada to El Gouna took about 30 minutes.
Preparations for El Gouna for the half marathon began on the eve of the start of the race, the route of the half marathon was already marked in the morning and the starting town began to unfold. The delivery of starter packs started at 18:00 the day before the start of the half marathon "El Gouna Half Marathon", on the tennis courts of the local school. To get your starting number, you had to present your documents, after which the participant was given his starting package.
The running event "El Gouna Half Marathon" started at 8 o'clock in the morning with the start of the main distance - the half marathon, the participants of the 10-kilometer race started an hour after the start of the half marathon. The last to start on this day were the participants at a distance of 5 kilometers.
The route of the half marathon "El Gouna Half Marathon" consisted of one circle and passed mainly through the paved streets of "Venice in the Sands". The route of the first part of the half marathon ran mainly along local canals. Another interesting feature of the route was that the start and finish are in different places.
My adventures on the Red Sea coast began immediately after the start of the start. The first part of the half marathon route "El Gouna Half Marathon" turned out to be quite interesting, as it passed through the tourist part of the city and along local canals.
The route of the second part of the half marathon mainly passed through the residential quarters of the city of El Gouna and along the local highway from which a beautiful panorama of the city and the mountain range Etbay. And if in the first part of the half marathon it was possible to hide from the Egyptian sun in the shade, the second part was mostly held in the open and the sun accompanied the participants of the half marathon all the time. The participants of the half marathon were rescued from the local sun by hydration points, which were located every 3 kilometers, where they could refresh themselves with water.
At the end of the half marathon, participants ran near the location of the local film festival "El Gouna Film Festival". The finish of the half marathon was located on the territory of the local port, where participants could relax from the half marathon and enjoy the views of the Red Sea.
The half marathon “El Gouna Half Marathon” turned out to be a well-organized running event on the Red Sea coast with an interesting half marathon on an exciting route. Where participants could enjoy the beauty of this location.